Feds Say Software CEO Stole Millions While Workers Went Unpaid

Slync's Chris Kirchner charged in $67M fraud
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2023 8:09 AM CST
Software Firm Co-Founder Charged in $67M Fraud
The seal of the US Securities and Exchange Commission at SEC headquarters in Washington.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

The co-founder and former CEO of logistics software company Slync is accused of scamming investors for tens of millions of dollars to live a lavish lifestyle while employees went unpaid. Chris Kirchner, 35, is accused of misappropriating $28 million between March 2020 and August 2022, when he was ousted by the Texas-based company, Quartz reports. According to federal investigators, Kirchner transferred company funds into his personal account or tapped Slync accounts for personal expenses including a $16 million private Gulfstream jet and a $495,000 luxury suite at a local sports stadium. He also made a bid to buy English soccer team Derby County.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Kirchner with fraudulently offering and selling more than $67 million of securities, of which he allegedly used $28 million for his own benefit. "We allege that Kirchner lied about Slync’s business to secure tens of millions of dollars from investors, a massive portion of which he then stole from the company to live extravagantly while not paying Slync’s employees," Sheldon L. Pollock at the SEC’s New York Regional Office said in a statement. "The Enforcement Division remains laser-focused on uncovering and rooting out such brazen fraud and charging individuals who seek to induce investors to buy securities through lies and deception."

Some of Kirchner's luxury purchases were made at a time when the company failed to make payroll and employees went without pay for months, Forbes reports. Kirchner has also been charged with wire fraud in a separate criminal case. He was arrested Tuesday morning and multiple luxury vehicles were towed from his Texas home. "This defendant flaunted his apparent wealth while allegedly diverting millions from company coffers into his private bank account," US Attorney Leigha Simonton said in a statement. "Slync investors and employees are understandably outraged, and we sympathize." (Read more fraud stories.)

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